Only children who have reached the minimum school leaving age are allowed to work full-time. In England, this date falls at the end of the school year once they have turned 16.
In Scotland, this date depends on when in the year the child is born. Children born between the 1 March and the 30 September can leave school after the 31 May of that year. Children born between the 1 October and the end of February can leave school at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.
In terms of part-time work, the minimum age is 13, unless the child is involved in performance work such as:
- film and television
- theatre and concerts
- sporting events
- other public performances with a paying audience or which take place on licensed premises